Cavendish: scandinavian Houses by Mole Architects

Cambridge's Most Eye-Catching Home

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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A brilliantly bold blend of textures partnered with a delicately impressive aesthetic ensure this Cambridge home is a daring and heroic reimagination of the suburban villa. Not simply a pretty face, this contemporary dwelling boasts the latest in eco-friendly, solar and energy saving initiatives.

Using less than 15 kWh/sqm for space heating, the house is equivalent to German Passivhaus standards, effectively an ultra-low energy requirement for a freestanding dwelling. Early discussions between the owners of the land, a family of four, and the design team at Mole Architects ensured an inventive and striking residence. Contemporary in its design, the house creates a relationship between the main shingle-clad room at the front of the property and the glass cube that sits behind.

An intriguing and truly unique property, this home won two awards. Firstly, the RIBA East Spirit of Ingenuity Sustainability Award 2010 and the David Urwin Award 2010. Additionally, the dwelling was shortlisted for the Civic Trust Awards in 2009 and was a finalist for the Grand Designs Best New Build 2010

Check out the images below, and tour this extraordinary and unparalleled sustainable residence.

Two faces

From simply looking at this property you can tell it is exceptional. The relationship between the shingle-clad building and the glass construction leaves a sense of two different faces, two personalities, working together in harmony, providing a truly liveable dwelling.

The home sits between Victorian and Edwardian detached dwellings and, due to this, offers the surrounding neighbourhood a modest and yet striking departure from tradition. Overall, the home design is spirited, cheerful and with a large dose of lighthearted ambience. Textures play with each other and the glass interacts with the shingle-cladding, which is all enhanced by the charismatic front hedge.

A statement living space

As we enter the shingle-clad space, we are provided with a good glimpse of the internal birch plywood that insulates the interior living room. Although the large room is cavernous with its double height ceiling space, the resulting atmosphere is warmth, comfort and cosiness.

Dark timber floorboards contrast the light walls, adding interest to the space, which hosts an impressive baby grand piano. Windows to the corner of the space ensure a beautiful view into the front garden and driveway, while a roof light illuminates the room with abundant natural light.

Sustainable construction

The building is sustainably fabricated from a frame of solid cross-laminated timber panels, supported by glu-laminated beams and columns. Not only does this home work creatively to minimise energy usage, it looks fabulously welcoming and enjoyable.

Solid timber throughout allows the floors to retain heat, minimising the need for additional warmth. From this vantage we are able to see the staircase that glides alongside the front glazed fascia. The space is bold, bright and experimental. A truly successful interior, the abundant timber creates warmth and gives the home a stylish ambience.

Timber tones throughout

Different timber hues have been incorporated to give alternating character to the various living spaces. Here in this room a stylish single antique desk contrasts wonderfully against the light birch wall and the rich timber tones.

Abundant glazing is seen to the rear of the property, ensuring the home maximises the sunlight, while the front of the property has minimal windows.

Warm and inviting

The interior of the home is cosy and inviting. As well as working in an energy-efficient manner, the dwelling also acts functionally, with great concern for its occupants.

In this last image, we're able to see how well the neutral timber works with the white colour scheme throughout the home. The space is welcoming, exuding a hospitable nature and ambience.

To tour another fabulous contemporary property, check out: The Jaw-Dropping Dorset Family Home.

What did you think of this architect's bold vision?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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